Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
Life can sometimes take a real toll on us ~~ and the older I get, the more I have come to realize that those who bear the greatest burdens speak the least about them. That can be both a good and bad thing ~~ because as women we tend to do this thing called “stuffing our emotions.” As proficient as we are at packing suitcases and backpacks and arranging closets and redecorating entire homes, we are equally as talented at burying our feelings into emotional vaults and basements of our lives.
Oh, we have the very best of intentions ~~ “let’s not trouble anyone with our woes;” “my cares are minor compared to hers;” “it’s not really a big deal” ~~ and on and on and on …..
Sweet Sister of mine, it is a big deal and it does matter because YOU matter!
Let’s chat for a bit, shall we?
Ever notice what happens to our junk drawers? Ok, am I alone in this? Is there anyone else out there reading this that has a junk drawer ~~ it may be filled with makeup, jewelry, accessories, kitchen gadgets, county fair memorabilia, children’s craft projects, sports collectibles, etc. When you overstuff that drawer what happens? First sign, is that it jams upon attempting to close it. The next sign might be that upon attempting to open it gets stuck. (I think I see you smiling and possibly laughing right now because this just happened to you today!).
It’s the same when we stuff our emotions and feelings and don’t allow God to work on us ~~ we get all jammed packed that He has to pry us open the “hard way.”
We always have a choice ~~ when we recognize that our lives have become overflowing with stuff: anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, covetousness, idolatry ~~ we can either continue to ignore that we are overflowing with unnecessary stuff in our lives and become hardened hearts (which will eventually deafen our ears to The Holy Spirit), OR we can call upon God Who made us and saved us and ask Him to perform a heart transplant and remove the stony heart and give us a tender heart.
I can speak from personal experience, Girlfriend, that if my heart is clouded over with junk, it’s literally impossible to be compassionate, loving, generous, forgiving, uplifting, or even pleasant. Because if I’m stuffed with issues of satisfying me, then I “don’t have room” for being kind and loving with others. Moreover, I don’t bear the image of Christ to a dying world.
Look how Merriam-Webster defines tender hearted: easily moved to love, pity, or sorrow; compassionate
In our overstuffed closets and drawers of life, there’s hardly any room to shuffle around what is already tucked in there, much less have room for love or compassion for another person.
Maybe you’re thinking that your drawers and closets aren’t really filled with “selfish me” kinda stuff ~~ but they’re still stuffed and overflowing. Ok, let’s examine what’s in there …
- “I was the victim in such and such incident, I’m deserving of the apology!”
- “Why should I always be the one to extend the helping hand?”
- “After ALL the things she’s put me through, I don’t think I should be obligated to offer assistance.”
- “If only I could afford to decorate my house like she does ~~ and she doesn’t have to work!”
- “I wish my husband would shower me with things that glistened like her husband does.”
- “My exercise time is non-negotiable.”
- “Mani-pedi days are standing appointments.”
Sound familiar, Girlfriend? You’re in good company ~~ I think we can all stand shoulder-to-shoulder on many of these.
It’s the collection of these and similar thoughts ~~ that when harboured and stuffed and jammed into our private drawers and closets in life ~~ our hearts become hardened towards others ~~ we aren’t producing the fruits of the Spirit ~~ and we become as hard as stone. God says He will change that ~~ but you know what is required …
The humility to admit we are in need of a heart transplant. Even as Believers we can get caught up in this world’s craziness if we don’t remain close to our Savior on a daily basis. The more we remain in fellowship and communion with Our Lord and Savior, the more we become like Him. But we must confess our sins of the flesh and allow God to perform His transplant.
Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
Becoming more Christ-like is the loudest sermon we could ever “speak” without saying a single word.
Asking God to make us willing to obey Him and his Commands is following through on our desire to do the right thing ~~ we simply have to make ourselves available and He will provide the strength to do the work. And trust me on this, if you are sincere about your desire, God will also provide opportunities for practice. The more you practice with what He gives you, the better it becomes! Soon you’ll be on your way to changing your attitude and behavior; without realizing it, you’ve undergone the heart transplant.
Colossians 1:9-10 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
It is my heart’s desire, Sweet Sister of mine, that you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
If the drawers and closets of your heart are filled to overflowing with unnecessary junk and stuff and are in need of being unjammed, ask your Heavenly Father to perform His heart transplant so that you can live more fully in the light of His Love ~~ with a heart that beats after Him.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~